7 Seconds (song)

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"7 Seconds"
7 seconds.jpg
Single by Youssou N'Dour and Neneh Cherry
from the album The Guide (Wommat) and Man
B-side"Mame Bamba"
Released16 May 1994
RecordedPower Play Studios, New York
GenreWorld, trip hop, afrobeat
Length5:07
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)Neneh Cherry, Youssou N'Dour, Cameron McVey, Jonathan Sharp
Producer(s)Christian Falk,[1] Booga Bear, Jonny Dollar
Youssou N'Dour singles chronology
"Shaking the Tree"
(1989)
"7 Seconds"
(1994)
"So Many Men"
(2002)
Neneh Cherry singles chronology
"Buddy X"
(1993)
"7 Seconds"
(1994)
"Love Can Build a Bridge"
(1995)
Music video
"7 Seconds" on YouTube

"7 Seconds" is a song composed by Youssou N'Dour, Neneh Cherry, Cameron McVey and Jonathan Sharp. It was released in 1994 as a single performed by Youssou N'Dour and Neneh Cherry and achieved much success, reaching the number-one position in numerous countries; in France it stayed at number one for 16 weeks, a record at the time. "7 Seconds" also won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Song of 1994.[2]

Recording[edit]

All instruments on the single were produced and arranged by Swedish music producer Christian Falk, who also played bass on the track.[1] It was included on Neneh Cherry's album Man (1996). The song is trilingual as N'Dour sings in 3 languages: French, English and the West African language Wolof. Cherry sings only in English.[3] The song also appeared on N'Dour's album The Guide (Wommat), released shortly after the single.

The title and refrain of the song refers to the first moments of a child's life; as Cherry put it, "not knowing about the problems and violence in our world".[3] Shocked by the single's enormous commercial success, she told The Independent in an interview, "We did it as an experiment. The tune grew on its own, completely out of proportion. It was out there doing its own thing. But that is a dream when you write a song."[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet described the song as a "floating airy and heavenly beautiful synth ballad".[5] Cashbox wrote that the "compelling duet nicely swirls N’Dour’s husky vocals and Cherry's sweet, angelic voice into a nifty, down-tempo stroll that has broad radio potential." They added that it is "powered by a rolling bass line and layers of passive synthesizer strains".[6] Editor Eloise Parker commented in the 2010 book 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die, that "the soul of "7 seconds" is N'Dour's heartfelt vocals, sung in Wolof and French, enhanced by Cherry's haunting English-language chorus."[7] Dave Sholin from Gavin Report called it "music to stir the senses combined with lyrics that make a powerful case for our common humanity." He added that the song "is especially powerful in light of recent events in South Africa and it's made that much more riveting by the melding of these two voices. Its worth spending some time with this amazing track."[8] Wendi Cermak from The Network Forty described it as "haunting".[9] Erik Eriksson from Norwegian newspaper Rogalands Avis called it a "exotic ballad", adding it as "the perfect nightclub-romantic song".[10] Ronny Trælvik from Troms Folkeblad said it is a "irresistible gem".[11]

Chart performance[edit]

"7 Seconds" peaked within the top ten of the charts in several countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. It climbed to the top position in Finland, France, Iceland, Italy and Switzerland. It stayed at number one for 16 consecutive weeks on the French Singles Chart,[12] which was the record for the most weeks at the top position at the time. On the Eurochart Hot 100, the song reached number 2. It was awarded with a gold record in Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Music video[edit]

The black and white music video was directed by French director, photographer, film producer and actor Stéphane Sednaoui.[13] It features people of different ethnicities walking by while the two are singing. When they sing the chorus, different kinds of people's faces appear. The video was uploaded to YouTube in October 2009. By August 2020, it had more than 96,2 million views.[14]

Formats and track listings[edit]

CD maxi

  1. "7 Seconds" – 4:10
  2. "Mame Bamba" by Youssou N'Dour – 4:57
  3. "7 Seconds" (R & B to the hip hop drop mix) – 6:24
  4. "7 Seconds" (Dub Mix) – 6:07

CD maxi (7 June 1994)

  1. "7 Seconds" – 4:10
  2. "Life (Adouna)" by Youssou N'Dour – 4:57
  3. "7 Seconds" (R & B to the hip hop drop mix) – 6:24
  4. "7 Seconds" – 6:07

CD maxi (7 June 1994)

  1. "7 Seconds" (radio edit) – 4:06
  2. "Life (Adouna)" by Youssou N'Dour – 4:02
  3. "7 Seconds" (R & B to the hip hop drop mix) – 6:23
  4. "7 Seconds" (dub mix) – 6:07

UK CD single (660508-2)

  1. "7 Seconds" (radio edit)
  2. "7 Seconds" (LP version)
  3. "7 Seconds" (new old mix)
  4. "7 Seconds" (dub mix)
  5. "7 Seconds" (hip hop mix)

US CD single (Chaos/Columbia 42K 77482)

  1. "7 Seconds" (album version) – 5:07
  2. "7 Seconds" (new old mix) – 5:44
  3. "7 Seconds" (hip hop mix) – 6:24
  4. "7 Seconds" (dub mix) – 6:08
  5. "Mame Bamba" by Youssou N'Dour – 5:00

Charts and sales[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Christian Falk. "Christian Falk", Sommar & Vinter i P1, 26 July 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  2. ^ Pride, Dominic (5 November 1994), "Brandenburg Gate Setting For First MTV Euro Awards", Billboard, vol. 106 no. 45, p. 10.
  3. ^ a b "Bio" (unofficial website). Neneh Cherry Online (NCO). Archived from the original on 25 October 2005. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  4. ^ Dimery, Robert, ed. (2011) [2010]. "10,001 Songs You Must Hear…". 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die. Octopus Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-84403-684-4.
  5. ^ Aftonbladet. 21 May 1994.
  6. ^ "Pop Singles: Reviews" (PDF). Cashbox. p. 7. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  7. ^ Dimery, Robert, ed. (2011) [2010]. "10,001 Songs You Must Hear…". 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die. Octopus Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-84403-684-4.
  8. ^ Sholin, Dave (17 June 1994). "Gavin Picks: Singles" (PDF). Gavin Report. p. 62. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Crossover: Music Meeting" (PDF). The Network Forty. 25 March 1994. p. 34. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  10. ^ Eriksson, Erik (22 June 1994). "Plater på Pulsen". Rogalands Avis (in Norwegian). p. 14. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  11. ^ Trælvik, Ronny (3 January 1995). "Musikkåret 1994 - fra A til Å". Troms Folkeblad (in Norwegian). p. 13. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Lescharts.com – Youssou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  13. ^ "mvdbase.com – Youssou N'Dour – "7 seconds [version 1]"". Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  14. ^ "Youssou N'Dour - 7 Seconds ft. Neneh Cherry". Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  15. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Youssou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  16. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Youssou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Youssou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  18. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2627." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2628." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  20. ^ "Top 10 Sales in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. 30 July 1994. p. 10. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  21. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (29 October 1994). Billboard.
  22. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  23. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Youssou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  24. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (21.07.1994 - 27.07.1994)" (PDF). Dagblaðið Vísir - Tónlist. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  25. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – 7 Seconds". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  26. ^ "Top 10 Sales in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 11 no. 38. 17 September 1994. p. 16. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  27. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 28, 1994" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  28. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Youssou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  29. ^ "Charts.nz – Youssou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  30. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Youssou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds". VG-lista. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  31. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  32. ^ Nielsen Business Media (7 January 1995). Billboard.
  33. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Youssou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  34. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Youssou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  35. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  36. ^ "Youssou NDour Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  37. ^ "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Top 50 Singles 1994". ARIA. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  38. ^ "Jahreshitparade Singles 1994" (in German). Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  39. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1994" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  40. ^ "1994 in Review – Sales Charts" (PDF). Music & Media. 24 December 1994. p. 24. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  41. ^ "Classement Singles – année 1994" (in French). Archived from the original on 20 August 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  42. ^ "Top 100 Singles – Jahrescharts 1994" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  43. ^ "Árslistinn 1994". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 2 January 1995. p. 16. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  44. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40: Single top 100 over 1994" (PDF) (in Dutch). Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  45. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1994" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  46. ^ "End of Year Charts 1994". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  47. ^ "Årslista Singlar, 1994" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  48. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1994" (in German). Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  49. ^ "Top 100 Singles 1994". Music Week. 14 January 1995. p. 9.
  50. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Youssou N´Dour + Neneh Cherry – Seven Seconds" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  51. ^ "French single certifications – Youssou'N Dour – 7 Seconds" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  52. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Youssou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry; '7 Seconds')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  53. ^ "Dutch single certifications – Youssou n'Dour – Seven Seconds" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 16 July 2019. Enter Seven Seconds in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  54. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Yousou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry; '7 Seconds')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  55. ^ Myers, Justin (5 September 2019). "Number 1 today in 1994: Wet Wet Wet see off Kylie's comeback". Official Charts Company.
  56. ^ "British single certifications – Youssou N'dour ft Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type 7 Seconds in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]